Biggles and the Red Baron—dodging death, snakes and statistics

Biggles and the Red Baron

With the recent vision of pigs being gassed still haunting many an animal lover, this story will deal your compassion meter another striking blow. Legal in this country too is the gassing of day-old male chicks born to the egg-laying industry. Never able to produce eggs, the wee babies are “collateral damage” and deemed worthless at just one day old. Hatched at an outer Melbourne poultry establishment, Biggles and the Red Baron were gassed along with hundreds of their brothers, then frozen, only to be sold off as snake food. However, instead of arriving dead at their destination, their tiny baby chirps proved the attempt on their lives had not succeeded. Finding compassion in a most unlikely place, the struggling-to-stay-on-“the right side of living” fluffy chicks were surrendered to a kind heart who desperately sought a happy outcome for them.

Biggles and the Red Baron Continue reading

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No kidding, it’s Johnny Cash!

Johnny Cash 

An unexpected find by a family out camping proved most fortuitous for a tiny kid goat we have christened Johnny Cash. Nestled into the side of his dead mother, the wee chap desperately tried to nudge her to life. Pulling at heartstrings and kindness, he was gently picked up and delivered into our care. At first refusing the sustenance he so desperately and clearly needed, his “someone’s killing the kid” routine told us there was plenty of fight left in the little mite yet. And today, as Johnny cheekily pushes his face against his bottle, it is hard to imagine there was ever anything but love between the two.

Johnny Cash

And his name—Johnny Cash. Well, that comes from the distinct, albeit crooked dorsal line that heads north to south down the young kid’s back. You see, Johnny Cash the human was a country and western singer who first shot to fame in 1956 with his classic love song “I walk the line”. The “line” was something the singer proclaimed in the song he would keep to as a testament to his love and devotion for his then-wife; he promised to stay on the straight and narrow and resist temptations whilst he was away on tour. Sadly, history reveals that Cash was to sway a little from that line, having an affair with June Carter, whom he was to eventually marry. And in keeping with Cash the human’s somewhat awry line, Cash the kid’s line deviates somewhat—just like the arbitrary line we humans have drawn in the sand when it comes to our animal friends, declaring some animals as friends and others food.

Which line will you walk? Continue reading

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Saturday

People often ask us why we have dedicated our lives to farm animals, and to be honest we cannot give you a one-word answer that would cover it, but we could name you one animal—Saturday. And this is her story…..

Saturday

The first human who was touched by Saturday and her steely resolve was the kind heart on to whose property she was born. Although she looked perfectly normal in every way, once Saturday began to get about, things were anything but. Despite desperately trying to propel herself forward to get where she wanted to go, all little Saturday could manage were a few uncoordinated steps before she fell down, sinking the hopes of her human carers that a good life lay ahead for their beloved lamb. But they were as determined as she to not give up, and searching high and low for an outcome for their little girl, they stumbled upon Edgar’s Mission.

Although several hundred kilometres away, a convoy of kindness made possible Saturday’s safe arrival to our care. At first it was thought the sweet little black-faced Suffolk ewe had succumbed to a toxin that had robbed her of the proper functioning of her hind limbs; however, the passage of time and veterinary examinations proved this is not the case. Sadly it became evident that little Saturday was besieged with congenital spasticity. This translates into Saturday’s hind limbs not working in sync with the messages sent from her brain. Whilst she can stand and bear weight, once she decides to move off things go decidedly pear shaped. It quickly became clear that without some kind of intervention Saturday would be confined to a stable and condemned to a miserable life. Continue reading

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Climate change and doing the most good!

Climate change rally

The links between the consumption of animal products and climate change can now no longer be ignored.  And as world leaders meet this weekend in Paris for the United Nations Climate Summit a global movement of concerned citizens aims to create the biggest climate march the world has ever seen.

By coming together people are demonstrating to our political leaders that urgent steps need to be taken before it is too late. Earlier this evening around 50,000 people gathered in Melbourne’s CBD.

Yet more rallies are planned around the country this weekend, check with your local environment group to find your nearest location.  If you are in the Macedon Ranges region please join the People’s Climate Rally in Kyneton, 2.00pm Quarry Reserve.

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All things grow with love…

Blossom and Snuffles 2012 

Look how Snuffles and Blossom have flourished three years on.

Blossom and Snuffles 2015

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Blossom and Snuffles

Two years ago today Blossom met Snuffles and it went a little something like this…

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Kindness in Kalinda

Kaldina

Creating more thoughtful, kind and caring citizens is one of the greatest goals our education system can work towards. And recognising these noble traits is Kalinda Primary School in Ringwood, where recently the prep students donned their kindness caps and raised funds for one of their favourite animal charities, Edgar’s Mission. But not wishing to leave it there, the students set to work collecting Weet-Bix treats to hand over when they received a visit from Edgar’s Mission staffers and ambassador animals.

Kalinda

“We were deeply touched to learn the students had thoroughly researched the sanctuary,” said Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern, after their visit. “Their well-considered questions about many of our residents showed they really had done their homework. But what was equally impressive was the genuine interest and care they showed for animals. I truly believe one of the best ways our society can teach the decision-makers of tomorrow empathy, kindness and patience is through positive interactions with animals.” Continue reading

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Celebrate your Unique Talent Day

When Max plodded down the ramp of the Kindness van, all in eyeshot stood in awe of the sheer size of this marvellous chap. With a knowing, furrowed brow and kindly eyes, he took in the strange surrounds that would be his new home.

Max is a Large White pig, commonly bred by the commercial pork meat industry, how Max ended up at a rural pound we’ll likely never know. Just like others of his ilk, he has two eyes, appealingly droopy ears, a soft bulbous chin and the brains to outwit dogs and infants. By all accounts Max is one normal, everyday pig. Continue reading

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Felix and Oscar, a very odd couple

Oscar and Felix

While Felix is large and predominantly white, his little offsider is pint-sized and black. The two form a rather odd couple who found themselves unceremoniously homeless and helpless in a rural country town. While first reports told of a rooster and a hen in need of a helping hand, one look at this duo and we realised it was actually two roosters who had formed an unlikely bond.

Oscar and Felix Continue reading

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Three states, one message – kindness!

Outreach

Last weekend the Edgar’s Mission outreach team was represented in three states of Australia! In New South Wales the Kindness Van rocked on into the Flourish Festival at the Charles Sturt University in Albury, where Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern, delivered two thought provoking presentations.  In Western Australia, Operations and Communication Manager, Kyle Behrend flew the flag of kindness at WA’s Cruelty Free Festival. On Sunday, in our home state of Victoria, Edgar’s Mission Outreach Coordinator Extraordinaire, Helen Szabo spread a little Edgar’s Mission kindness at the World Event to End Animal Cruelty at Ceres Environment Park.

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I think, therefore I’m kind

Kindness

Get your thinking cap on, it’s World Philosophy Day. “I think, therefore I am” was famously coined by Descartes in the mid-1600s, an articulation of the idea of “self” – because we think must mean we’re alive, we must exist. This acknowledgement of self is how we came to understand our consciousness and gain control over our actions through self-reflection and personal growth.

Arming people with the power that comes with understanding consciousness, it’s no wonder Descartes was declared the father of modern philosophy. But there’s one side to this great thinker many would consider cold, hard and even ignorant. Descartes believed animals’ bodies were “machines” in the sense animals did not feel or have any awareness, in fact when he subjected them to unspeakably cruel experiments, he asserted even though they acted as though they were suffering and in pain, it was all a farce. Continue reading

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Boyd, a little lamb on a mission

Boyd

Don’t be fooled by the calm demeanour of this little chap, for he has embarked on a very special mission. Having endured a difficult start in life that saw him orphaned, alone and in need of a good friend, he has found just that here at Edgar’s Mission.

Boyd

Today little Boyd has made firm friends with another wee orphan, Itty Bitty, and together they have made it their mission to touch hearts and change minds about the way people see farm animals. And we are pleased to report the two are right on target, because once you meet them you will never want to eat them. Continue reading

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Walking the walk with Pixie

Please join us for this uplifting update on Pixie, as we honour our commitment to give her a life truly worth living.

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Bendigo, a kindly goose

Bendigo

“Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” And it is also something understood by an injured Chinese goose!! Despite our very poor rendition of our year-eight Chinese, Bendigo Goose quickly recognised that we sat on the right side of kindness. Found on a public wetland, with a badly injured leg that prevented her from both walking and swimming normally, was dear Bendigo. With the goodness of the human heart coming to the fore as they recognised the peril such a disability posed to the young bird, Bendigo was soon “vetward” bound. Here it was determined she was suffering a most debilitating case of bumblefoot. Soon debrided and medications given, a safe haven was needed for the friendly girl.

Geese are often (and some times rightly so) labelled as extremely feisty birds earning them the fear (or worse L) of many a human. However, working with these majestic creatures, we have come to see them as extremely astute judges of humans, quickly determining who they can “dominate” and who they cannot. And be warned—they know whether your bravado is real or whether you are just pretending. Continue reading

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Out of this world, it’s Astro Boy

Astro Boy

Astro Boy is a super hero from the animated Japanese sci-fi series of the same name. Hailing from a futuristic world where humans and robots co-exist, Astro Boy is an android who uses his seven super powers to fight crime, evil and injustice. But our Astro Boy, a cherub like young Suffolk cross lad, well he just likes to eat grass and get pats from humans. Just like his alter ego, he too yearns for the day when humans are kind to all of his ilk.

Astro Boy Continue reading

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Rambo, a lesson in kindness

Rambo

Yesterday our dear old boy Rambo Sheep lay down for the last time, from his snoring slumber he did not rise. Whilst our hearts are heavy we will not see his massive form exploring about our front yard and however far he could wander beyond when the gate was left ajar, we rejoice in the fact he got to do something so few sheep ever do – he grew to a ripe old age and he did so gracefully. Thank you dear Rambo for reminding us of the power of kindness, you arrived as a wayward ram with a bad attitude and departed a much loved and kindly friend. Gone from our world, forever in our hearts.

To learn more about our dear friend please click here.

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A sign of the times….

Broilers

“Is that Pam?” the muffled voice asked, “there’s something for you at the front gate” and they rang off. Minutes later nine broiler chicks, with baby blue eyes and baby bird cheeps, underwent health checks and parasite control before they were gently placed on a bed of soft straw as the words “you’re safe now, you’re at Edgar’s Mission”, was whispered into their sweet little feathered ears. So incredibly heavy for the size, these beautiful birds had just been thrown the greatest lifeline an animal ever could. Bred to grow way faster than nature ever intended, some are already showing the ravages of the broiler/meat chicken industry. But they are our friends not our food and we will do everything in our power to make their time on this mortal coil as happy and healthy as we can.

Meet Babette, Betany, Bree, Bess, Bryonie, Bronwyn, Bobbie Sue, Braidy & Beth

Broilers Continue reading

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Learning to fly

Edgar Alan Pig

It was 1997 and there I awkwardly sat with nine other equally uncomfortable people. While different in circumstance, we were united in need—in need of a job. I and around 60 other hopefuls had made it to round two of the interview process for a local manufacturing company. Ushered into a large hall, we were soon divided into several groups and seated around a designated table. It was in attentive silence we sat as our task for the day was explained. And that task was to make paper planes—but with a difference. We were not to make the good old-fashioned, two folds and you’re done type plane. No this plane was much more complex and would involve group participation. As such we were to form an assembly line to produce the final product—a state-of-the-art paper plane, coloured, with wings and a couple of other whizz-bang things that have taken leave of my memory. We would need to rotate through the tasks, undertake quality control, manage stocks and maintain efficiencies: all the while working as a team with a common goal.

“And your time starts now.” Continue reading

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Where Are They Now – Winnie

Every month we’ll shine the spotlight on a family who have chosen to bring new faces into their homes and hearts and adopt one or a few rescued animals.

It always warms our hearts to hear how our former residents are settling in to their new abodes and causing their new families to wonder just how life existed before they shared their world with a farm animal. If you’ve never had the honour of spending time with a barnyard friend, you may be surprised by the love, friendship and fun they add to your life. Continue reading

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Woolamina…..

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Woolamina

Just as Juliet waxed lyrical about her beloved Romeo, we too are finding much to adore in our newfound ovine friend, Woolamina. Although once we addressed our friend’s most pressing need of a long-overdue haircut, we quickly realised that this ‘rose’ was indeed in need of a name change. You see our Woolamina had quickly morphed into a Willamina as his more personal parts were revealed. With his most friendly nature and clear comfort around humans, it seemed that while he was not lacking in love, this dear sheep had most certainly been lacking in knowledgeable care.

Woolamina

As a result of human domestication, sheep of today are much removed from their wild mouflon ancestry and self-shedding hair. So much so that annual shearing is a must in order to prevent many welfare issues. Other routine husbandry practices that are in order for our sheepy pals are hoof trimming, vaccinations, teeth checks and even weighing. But regardless of his name, our dear woolless boy smells so sweet!

Woolamina Continue reading

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Hopetoun

They said it could not be done.  For several months now police, local rangers, wildlife rescue and Edgar’s Mission has been flooded with calls from concerned members of the public about a goat living precariously close to the busy Western Highway near Hopetoun Park, Bacchus Marsh.  And as sightings increased so too did the chances of the goat colliding with the fast moving traffic.  Today all that changed with his amazing rescue.  Despite local police giving his rescuers almost zero chance of success, tenacity won through, and the wily goat’s kamikaze exploits were reined in. Managing to land the successful tranquilising dart shot was Manfred Zabinskas from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue. For now the heavily sedated goat is resting comfortably at Edgar’s Mission before he will be introduced to equally lucky goats who roam the grassy pastures of the sanctuary.

Update on Hopetoun:

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My Cup Day

Cup Day

For as long as I can remember, horses have captured my heart. Their strength, nobility and freedom promised to take me places only a young girl could ever imagine. And today it was the sounds of their pounding hooves that caught my attention—their thunderous chorus through the earth beneath caused my heart to pound faster, and looking up I saw them galloping majestically towards me. Flowing manes, nostrils pulsating with each effortless stride, their legs stretching forth to eternity. Yet despite their speed, it all looked like it was happening in slow, glorious motion.

As they inched closer to where I stood, I held my breath and thanked my lucky stars there was a fence between us. Turning on a half-penny, with all the agility only a creature so perfectly formed could, they raced up the hill, bucking, weaving and kicking with all the gusto that comes with having achieved their birthright—freedom. With no Melbourne Cup in sight, and no blue ribbon, trophies or prizes to be hung on the wall, I think I have now come full circle. And once again I am reminded of why horses have captured my heart.

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